When e-learning was first introduced in the mid ‘90s, only 4% of organizations in the United States adopted it. But now, within a span of 2 decades, 77% of companies in the country offer e-learning in their professional development programs. If you aren’t one of them, the figures suggest that sooner or later, you will decide to implement e-learning in your organization too. When you dive into the implementation process, you’ll stumble upon the term ‘SCORM’ and wonder what it is and if it really matters.
The answer is an emphatic, Yes, it does!
What is SCORM?
SCORM is a set of technical standards and specifications developed for online educational technology (e-learning). It is an acronym for “Sharable Content Object Reference Model”. Developing e-learning courses that comply with these standards is important because, SCORM enables the Learning Management System (LMS) – the platform on which you host your e-learning courses – to read, run, and report on the course content (interoperability). In case your e-learning course is not SCORM compatible, the LMS will not be able to track it and generate reports such as course completion, time spent on it, and the score.
So, before you start developing an e-learning course, check the following 3 important things to ensure your e-learning courses are SCORM compliant.
1. The Course Content
Though SCORM has been the most commonly used content standard for e-learning development ever since its release 16 years ago, it has its own limitations in tracking and reporting. SCORM cannot track certain elements when the content in an e-learning course is in the form of simulations or high-end games, when it is delivered on different platforms, or when the course is taken online. So ensure you do not have such requirements for your course content.
However, if you do not want them to be tracked or do not mind if they are not tracked, you can accommodate such content in your e-learning course.
2. The Rapid Authoring Tool
Another important thing you must check is whether the rapid authoring tool you have or will be choosing gives you SCORM compliant output. This is an important consideration because, if your authoring tool does not give you SCORM output, all your development efforts will go in vain as the Learning Management System (LMS) will not be able to track the e-learning course.
3. The Learning Management System
The last thing in this list (but not the least) is to ensure the Learning Management System (LMS) is SCORM compliant. A few LMSs are compliant with SCORM, a few are compliant with AICC, and a few are compliant with both. So, check which of these guidelines your LMS complies with. If it is SCORM compliant, then check which version of SCORM it supports – SCORM1.2 or SCORM 2004. This is important because you must publish your e-learning courses to the same version.
Having considered these 3 important factors, the next big thing is publishing the e-learning course to provide SCORM compliant output using a rapid authoring tool. Adobe Captivate 8 is one such tool that gives SCORM compliant output. To know how, here is a video – How to Make an E-learning Project SCORM Compliant in Adobe Captivate 8.